More than 100 million Americans cast their votes before Election Day thanks to expanded early and absentee voting. However, one American had to drive more than 800 miles from Massachusetts to Georgia in order to cast his vote in person since his absentee ballot never arrived at his home address. Joe LaMuraglia, 52, is a registered Democrat from Savannah, Georgia, but has been living in Boston during the pandemic with his partner. He requested his absentee ballot at the beginning of September.
After requesting his ballot, LaMuraglia, a marketing executive, saw that the election office mailed his ballot on Sept. 18. However, the ballot never made it to his home in Boston. It was sent to Virginia, a state in which he has never claimed residency.
By Tuesday of last week, LaMuraglia knew he had to travel to Georgia in person to cast his vote. He drove about 15 hours to his early-voting polling location in Savannah. There, he waited for about an hour in order to cast his ballot for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday. “I believe the Democratic ticket has my best interests at heart. But this election isn't about Democrats and Republicans. This election to me is about the future of this country,” he said.
Georgia is a hotly contested battleground state in which Democrats have been campaigning up until Election Day. Former President Barack Obama was in the state Monday, campaigning for Biden.
This year, Georgia and its 16 electoral votes emerged as a battleground for the first time in decades. Both Biden and Trump visited the state in the final week before Election Day, and both campaigns also spent millions of dollars on television ads aimed at Georgia voters. One of the reasons for the state’s newfound competitiveness is that Georgia’s white voters have reversed their decades-long shift toward the Republican Party.
A version of this story originally appeared on NBCNews.com.